Myanmar

The 1988 Uprising of Myanmar was a turning point in the country’s history. For the first time in over a century, the Burmese masses directly confronted a military dictatorship and toppled it. During the mass struggles against the military coup in 2021, many activists looked to the experience of 1988 for inspiration. Unfortunately, however, the 1988 uprising ultimately ended in defeat, similarly to what happened this year. In order to move forward, we have to ask ourselves what factors led to the 1988 movement’s failure, what mistakes were made. Were any of these present in this year’s movement as well? We need to make a serious analysis of this uprising to draw historical lessons and

...

The following is the founding editorial of The Struggle, a Myanmar-based, Marxist militant publication in solidarity with the International Marxist Tendency. In the brutally difficult conditions in the country, a team of Marxist revolutionaries still managed to produce a PDF magazine, which they are distributing through their Facebook page “Revolutionary Marxism” (which as of now has over 7,100 likes). Please contact that page if you would like a copy of The Struggle. The English translation below is slightly edited from the Burmese original, clarifying a few points for

...

On 7 September 2021, the self-proclaimed Interim National Unity Government (INUG) declared a state of emergency and declared a civil war against the military junta. It is not difficult to declare war online by announcing a state of emergency. It is even easier for those who are safely in exile in the United States. If you have a good internet connection, you can declare war at the stroke of a keyboard.

The ebb of the Myanmar revolution has not led the military regime under General Min Aung Hliang to relent in its brutality against the people. The military is determined to drown the mass movement in blood, in part through weaponising the COVID-19 pandemic against the masses. This despicable cruelty will not be forgotten, and will only pave way for new struggles down the road. The following report was shared to us by a Burmese Marxist in order to illustrate the reality of the situation on the ground to the world.

The revolution in Myanmar, after months of heroic struggles by the masses, has ebbed. The regime has clamped down brutally, while the protest movement has shifted from mass strikes and demonstrations to small-scale armed skirmishes. The question has to be posed, why have we reached such a situation, and what lessons need to be learned?

A revolution is underway in Myanmar. The masses are showing immense courage in the face of brutal violence by the military junta. Workers and youth are preparing to defend themselves and allying with the organisations of oppressed ethnic groups. An armed workers' uprising and an all-out, continuous general strike must be organised to topple the murderous junta! 

The Myanmar masses continue to resist the military junta despite mass arrests and dozens of people already killed on the streets. Over one month since the military took over, the junta is still failing to restore any semblance of stability. On the contrary, class tensions are being heightened as an alliance of unions organised a second general strike in response to the military’s continued clampdown.

A powerful show of anger and opposition to the military coup launched at the beginning of February was evident on the streets of cities across Myanmar last Monday (February 22nd), as a general strike paralysed the country, from Myitkyina in the north, to Bhamo near the Chinese border, to Pyinmana in the centre.

The coup in Myanmar has unleashed a movement of revolutionary proportions. The determination of the masses to stop the military from taking over can be seen in the widespread and growing strike and protest movement that has been unleashed. The military junta clearly underestimated the level of opposition they would face.

The military coup that was carried out in Myanmar by Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the army, on 31 January has unleashed a movement that the military were clearly not expecting. Their coup took many by surprise. No one in Myanmar was expecting it, and it also does not seem to fit with the needs of the moment. So why did it take place? In this article, we attempt to outline some of the factors that led to this sudden and sharp change in the situation.

In organising a swift coup against Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK), Myanmar’s generals have killed the illusion, already in its death throes, of the liberalisation of Myanmar under US domination.

On 10 December, Aung San Suu Kyi, also known by some western commentators as ‘South East Asia’s Nelson Mandela’ appeared in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s highest court, which is famous for trying war criminals and genocidal leaders. However, the saintly Aung San Suu Kyi was not, as you might expect, here to condemn Myanmar’s military junta, which for so many years oppressed her, but to defend it against accusations of the genocide of the Rohingya people. On 23 January 2020, the court reached a unanimous decision that Myanmar does have a case to answer, rejecting Aung San Suu Kyi’s arguments, and concluding that the 600,000 or so Rohingyas that remain in Myanmar are

...

Ko Tun Myint Win, a peasant from Aung Thabyae village in the Patheingyi township, Mandalay Region, died in police custody on 5 May. The authorities claimed that he died due to a high fever and alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and said the family members had to request a medical record of the autopsy from them as well.

Numerous land grabbings have taken place in Burma. More than 50 percent of these have been carried out by the military and governmental departments. The rest have been committed by their lackeys and the foreign capitalists. Numerous peasant struggles have been taking place in Burma for their farmland, communal land and roads, and communal forests. Among those cases, the recent peasant protest in Aung Thbyae village in the Patheingyi township, Mandalay Region, deserves special mention.

Today, In Defence of Marxism is proud to publish for the first time a number of articles in the Burmese language. They have been sent to us by the Social Democratic United Front (SDUF) in Myanmar (formerly Burma), an organisation that took an active part in the student protests against the military dictatorship, together with the Burma Federation of Student Unions.

Page 1 of 2